WD VelociRaptor 1TB and Scorpio Blue 500GB

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WD VelociRaptor 1TB and Scorpio Blue 500GB

June 10, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

WD VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ
1TB 2.5"/3.5" HDD
WD Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVT
500GB 2.5" HDD
Street Price
US$270 US$75

Today we have a pair of hard drives from Western Digital that couldn't be more different. The VelociRaptor 1TB is a high performance enterprise drive while the updated version of the Scorpio Blue 500GB is a notebook model aimed at mainstream users. Despite these differences, at one point or another, their predecessors were highly acclaimed by SPCR.

The WD VelociRaptor 1TB (WD1000DHTZ).

The first VelociRaptor was a favorite before the rise of solid state drives, delivering both high performance and quiet operation — once freed from its cooling frame. The new 1TB VelociRaptor looks essentially the same, a 2.5 inch drive attached to an IcePack, a metal caddy that acts as a heatsink and allows the drive to be utilized like a 3.5 inch model, useful for hotswapping in rackmount enclosures. The drive is secured with torx screws; removing it voids the five year warranty.


A thin layer of foam sits beneath the drive while two thermal pads transfer heat from the drive's toasty nether regions to the metal frame. The IcePack can be used as a 2.5 inch to 3.5" drive adapter for hotswap SATA bays, etc. but only with drives that have a 4-pin jumper block, which rules out most solid state drives. A three platter design, the drive itself is 15 mm thick, making it too big for laptops. Its 10,000 RPM motor is too power hungry for a mobile device, anyway.

The WD Scorpio Blue 500GB (WD5000LPVT).

At the time of its release, the original Scorpio Blue 500GB (WD5000BEVT) was impressively quiet considering it was the highest capacity notebook drive available at the time. Scorpio Blue is the moniker for WD's consumer, 5400 RPM notebook hard drives, designed to be cool, quiet, and energy and cost efficient. The 1TB model we reviewed a few months ago excelled in all these areas.

New Scorpio Blue 500GB WD5000LPVT on the left, old WD5000BEVT on the right.

The new 500GB version, doesn't have the same cachet as its big brother, but it does have the distinction of being a single platter drive, creating the potential for truly excellent acoustics and ultra low power consumption. The WD5000LPVT is 6.8 mm thick and weighs 90 grams compared to 9.5 mm and 117 grams for the old WD5000BEVT.

WD VelociRaptor 1TB & Scorpio Blue 500GB Specifications
(from their respective data sheets located here and here)
Model number WD1000DHTZ WD5000LPVT
Interface SATA 6 Gb/s SATA 3 Gb/s
Formatted capacity 1 TB 500,107 MB
Advanced format Yes Yes
Transfer rate (max, sustained) 200 MB/s 147 MB/s
Cache 64 MB 8 MB
Rotational speed 10,000 RPM 5400 RPM
Average drive ready time 8 seconds <3.5 seconds
Average power (W) Random Read/Write: 5.1
Seq. Read/Write: 5.8
Idle: 4.2
Standby/Sleep: 1.1
Read/Write: 1.4
Idle: 0.55
Standby/Sleep: 0.13
Average acoustics (dBA) Idle: 30
Performance Seek: 37
Idle: 17
Seek (average): 22
Dimensions (H x L x W) 26.1 x 147 x 101.6 mm 6.8 x 100.20 x 69.85 mm
Weight (+/- 10%) 0.50 kg 0.09 kg
Limited warranty 5 years 2 years

Head to head, it's a big mismatch as the VelociRaptor has 8 times the cache, almost twice the rotational speed, and 3 extra years of warranty. The Scorpio Blue's power and acoustic specifications are considerably lower, though, good qualities for a laptop hard drive.

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